Australia job advertisements dip 0.7 pct in Dec-ANZ

SYDNEY Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:42pm EST

SYDNEY Jan 13 (Reuters) - Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet fell fractionally in December, a third month of minor losses that at least points to some sign of stabilisation in labour demand.

A survey by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job advertisements dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in December from November, when they were down 0.9 percent.

The average number of job ads per week was 124,786, down 9.1 percent on the same month of 2012.

Job ads on the Internet eased 0.7 percent in December to 120,766, and were down 8.3 percent on the year. Newspaper ads rose 0.4 percent in the month, but were still down 27.4 percent for the year in what has been a prolonged structural shift to other forms of advertising.

"Labour demand appears to be stabilising or even improving modestly," said Justin Fabo, head of Australian economics at ANZ.

"A number of different measures of job ads/vacancies have been broadly flat since mid 2013. This is consistent with the unemployment rate remaining relatively stable at around 5.75 percent in the near term, a level it has been at since mid 2013."

Official employment figures for December are due on Thursday. Forecasts favour a rise of 7,500, with the unemployment rate staying at 5.8 percent.

The job ads survey's correlation with employment has weakened over the last couple of years, in part due to firms using other methods of reaching job seekers such as social media. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Eric Meijer)